When I bought Feast Day Cookbook it mentions an English custom of setting out a table of beers and cheeses outside one's door for drop-by guests. A porch party was much more up our alley than a bonfire, especially if it featured beer and cheese, two things that Mr. W and I love most! Mr. W has also been a longtime promoter of the notion that beer is a better partner to cheese than wine. Wine should be paired with chocolates apparently. I don't like beer and am only a recent convert to wine, so I always defer to his expertise in these matters.
Mr. W is a homebrewer, a member of the Oregon Brew Crew, and a nationally certified Master Beer Judge. Yes, our nerdiness knows no limits. This party would satisfy my wish to celebrate Catholicism and be an opportunity for him to showcase his beer knowledge. He put a lot of thought and planning into the pairings. Frankly, I think the party kind of got away from us and we spent a lot more than I thought would be possible for some beer and cheeses.
I set the table with a Provencal tablecloth we received as a wedding gift from Ms. H and Ms. B and a big, cheery arrangement of sunflowers. I had planted St. John's Wort in a container a few years ago, but it didn't survive. I'll have to try again next year because I need it for my scripture garden.We decided upon 8 pairings and served them in two shifts with lots of fruits, nuts, olives and bread to counteract the effects of too much cheese on toddler GI tracks. The following were the first 3 pairings:
- Muenster with Reissdorf Kolsch (Cologne, Germany)
- Tillamook sharp cheddar with Budweiser Budvar (Czech Republic)
- Tillamook pepper Monteray jack with Laurelwood free range Red (Portland, OR)
The next five pairings:
- Mook Rookkaas gouda with Maredsous 8 (Moortgart, Belgium)
- Baked double creme brie with Hopworks IPA or Alameda El Toreno IPA (both of Portland, OR)
- Rogue River Caveman blue with Anchor Porter (San Francisco, CA)
- Clawson Blue Shropshire with Rogue Shakespeare Stout (Newport, OR)
- Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog with Chimay Grand Reserve (Scourmont, Belgium) or St. Bernardus 8 (Watau, Belgium)